Lula and the war in Ukraine

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By RUBEN BAUER NAVEIRA*

The Lula government must be aware of avoidable mistakes in the area of ​​foreign policy.

Journalist Jamil Chad from the portal UOL reported that, after having spoken with foreign delegations present at Lula's inauguration, he would have heard from three different interlocutors information about President Lula's willingness to personally seek out Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin to "mediate a solution" to the war in Ukraine.

This news that Lula will address both the one labeled as the “aggressor” (Vladimir Putin) and the one praised as the “solidarity with the aggressor” (Joe Biden) ends up bringing water to the mill of North American hegemonism, as it increases international pressure on Vladimir Putin, as well as tends to alienate Brazil from Russia.

According to Jamil Chade, Lula would have responded to the president of East Timor, José Ramos-Horta, who "wasn't sure if Brazil would be important enough in the world to play such a role". Less bad.

Lula and his advisors like Celso Amorim are not amateurs to inadvertently embark on such a leaky canoe, but, out of duty of care, this author (who participated in the Lula government in his first two terms, and therefore has a side) comes here to warn of some possible mistakes (which would make up a “game of seven mistakes”) which could be easily committed by someone intoxicated with the prospect of making Lula a “champion of world peace”, who even “saved the world from the risk of nuclear war” .

As a context for what is exposed here, I refer to the four articles already published on the subject: the first, still in 2021 (“war in sight”), warned that Russia would have no choice but to take military action; the second, a week before the invasion of Ukraine (“Will there be war?”), showed that the Americans had embraced the risks of pushing the Russians to that military action; the third ("The war is between the United States and Russia”) placed the “Ukraine” war in its real context, with Ukraine itself being nothing more than a momentary and transitory stage of a decades-long war, and of an existential nature, between the United States and Russia; Finally, the fourth article (“Nuclear war as the ultimate morbid symptom”) warns of the high probability of nuclear war between the superpowers as an outcome.

Let’s move on to the “seven mistakes” that can be avoided:

 

buy the narrative

It is nearly impossible not to jump into the hegemonic media narrative because, this time, no space has been left for alternative narratives, including (or especially) on the internet, where social media corporations ban, block, hide, cancel and/or demonetize voices. dissidents (who are still the target of attacks hacker by government actors).

In the field of mainstream media, the situation is even worse, with Western governments starting to openly persecute journalists who dare to question the “single truth” (see for example the the case of the British government's persecution of the English journalist Graham Phillips).

What is under way is nothing less than the largest coordinated operation of fake news of human history, officially sanctioned by Western governments and media corporations. For example, you may have already heard that “Vladimir Putin is considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and that he only did not do it because the West dissuaded him, by warning him of the severity of the consequences that would ensue”, news this planted without any basis in reality, because no one in the Russian leadership ever made any mention of it (apart, of course, from fake news). The purpose is to poison Western public opinion to such an extent that even an eventual use of nuclear weapons against Russia (to “prevent” and “avoid” their “imminent” use by Vladimir Putin – does anyone remember the “weapons of destruction”? en masse” of Saddam Hussein?) can be assimilated.

Thus, the search for alternative and reliable sources of information becomes extremely difficult (the objective of this text is to fill, albeit in a limited way, this gap). The Lula government should as soon as possible recover the vocation for which the Institutional Security Office (GSI) was created, which is that of an intelligence agency to subsidize government decision makers with non-evident information of a sensitive nature. Above all, it should provide the GSI with an intelligence area focused on international geopolitics (we will come back to this later), so as not to leave the government hostage to narratives of “single truth”, such as the decreed narrative regarding the war in Ukraine.

 

“War is wrong” as dogma

Since the end of the Second World War, eighty years ago (and more than a generation), therefore, there has been no more war in the space of the so-called “West”, and thus a humanist vision crystallized that war could no longer be an instrument of politics between nations (of course, outside the western space, the Americans used war as an instrument of their foreign policy as much as they wanted, let the Vietnamese, Serbian, Iraqi, Afghan, Syrian populations say so).

The common trait between these countries mentioned above is that they sought to some extent to act with sovereignty, something that could not be tolerated by the hegemonic nation. Because this historical course has taught several other nations (we can mention at least Russia, China, Iran and North Korea) that any aspiration to true sovereignty needs to be grounded in the capacity for military confrontation against the hegemonic power, the United States.

The planet thus enters an era in which war is once again an instrument of policy between countries (in other words, war as an instrument of policy is no longer the monopoly of a single country). This is a fact that is here to stay, regardless of the moral judgments about it (specifically with regard to the moral judgment of Russia in the case of the attack on Ukraine – “innocent civilians die in war” – we have already been able to discuss in the article “nuclear war as the ultimate morbid symptom").

As a matter of fact, the Lula government would have a lot to gain from the exchange with one of the world's greatest authorities in the study of war as an instrument of policy throughout history, who happens to be Brazilian, Professor José Luís Fiori.

With regard to the war in Ukraine, on the side of the established narrative, Russia is labeled as an aggressor driven by imperialist and expansionist ambitions, but on the side of Russia, war is seen as a last resort of survival (war is called there “ existential”). Thus, for Russia there is no alternative but military victory, with peace only possible afterwards. Any lesser “peace” than this would eventually lead to an “implosion” of Russia from within, culminating in its occupation and dismemberment by Western powers, and it is in this sense that the war is nothing short of existential. Any approach to the Russian government “for the sake of peace” must therefore begin with sensitivity in recognizing which vital Russian interests are at stake.

Likewise, if what Russians mean by “peace” is the security of their country, then the war does not end in Ukraine, even with a Russian victory. The basic war, which is against the United States, may be suspended for some time, but will be resumed until the Russians succeed in withdrawing NATO forces (read missiles) to a distance they consider safe from their borders.

A reference: in this video, in which Vladimir Putin addresses his general officers, from the 47th and a half minute he clearly and objectively expresses Russia's position towards Ukraine and the West.

And an observation: a considerable part of the Brazilian left, when fighting the Bolsonaro government, ended up “taking the bait” of the hegemonic narrative that put Jair Bolsonaro in the same bag of “right-wing dictatorial rulers” around the world. This equation is, however, shallow: if there is a distinctive trait in common between rulers such as Viktor Orbán of Hungary or Recep Erdogan of Turkey, it is that they seek to remove their respective countries from the orbit of influence of the United States without thereby tying them to the orbit of Russian influence (in other words, they seek sovereignty), while Jair Bolsonaro was in Brazil the most shamelessly bloody US ruler in history (at least while Donald Trump was president).

In that so-called club of “right-wing dictatorial rulers” was also included, of course… Vladimir Putin. The detraction gained prominence because Jair Bolsonaro went to Russia breaking the international isolation of Vladimir Putin, did not support sanctions against Russia, and did not put Brazil's vote in the UN at the service of condemning Russia. We know that Jair Bolsonaro's reasons are always petty, even when he ends up doing the right thing, but that shouldn't automatically and blindly throw us into the opposite camp.

 

Not knowing what Americans mean by “peace”

Just as any approach to Russians “for the sake of peace” requires sensitivity to Russian (existential) interests at stake, any approach to Americans equally requires sensitivity to the (also existential) interests at stake.

The only “peace” that can interest the Americans is that which allows them to preserve their hegemony over the planet. Hegemony is, after all, an expression of the United States' own identity. Countries only repudiate their historical identities in favor of something different in cases of violent internal revolution (eg the French Revolution) or crushing external military defeat (eg Nazi Germany).

Thus, the Americans cannot tolerate Russia's sovereignty (especially due to its immense natural resources), so even during the Boris Yeltsin years (the 1990s, when the Russians were subservient to the West), NATO was progressively squeezing the military siege of Russia (in violation of the agreements reached on the occasion of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact). When, at the end of 2021, the Russians presented their range of demands to the Americans in terms of security requirements for the country, threatening to resort to military action if they were not met (as they ended up doing), the Americans opted to “pay to see” ( see the article “war in sight").

The indefinite extension of the war is of interest to the Americans, as it tends to wear down Vladimir Putin's government internally. If, on the other hand, the Russians prevail militarily against Ukraine (we will examine it below), peace will become a necessity for the Americans – provided that what remains as an independent Ukraine can continue within the NATO orbit.

Henry Kissinger rightly observed that the discussion about whether or not Ukraine should join NATO is over, since in practice Ukraine has already been completely incorporated into NATO. For Americans this is the best of all worlds, as they have freedom of action throughout the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government without having to adhere to any contractual obligations. A “peace” that keeps a part of Ukraine independent and for which its territorial losses are not internationally recognized allows, in practice, the indefinite continuation of the conflict against Russia, even if no longer in the military form.

The Russians thus have only the option of total military victory, with the installation of a “neutral” (in practice, aligned) government in what still remains of Ukraine's territory. It is clear that such a “peace” would not interest the Americans at all, but in this case they would only have the option of escalating the conflict to a direct war against Russia, which would leave the world on the verge of a nuclear holocaust.

 

Not knowing the nature of this war

The nature of this war is essentially industrial (as were the two world wars, and no other since). “Attrition” wars can only be won by accumulating one's forces while depleting opposing forces, something that requires a superior industrial base.

Russians have been diligently preparing for this for years. Not only are Russia's weapons and munitions factories running 24/7, but more importantly, they are scaled to the volumes of an all-out war not against Ukraine, but against the entire West. Thus, the Russians have a volume of artillery pieces and respective ammunition at the front of the battle that exceeds that of the Ukrainians (even with all the help of NATO) in a ratio close to 10 to 1. And, for each artillery projectile or rocket fired, every suicide drone sent, and every precision missile launched, Russia makes two or more new ones.

The West, on the other hand, practically exhausted, by sending to Ukraine (which has already used them, or lost them in the Russian bombings), its own stocks of conventional weapons and ammunition, without, however, having an industrial base to replace them at the necessary pace and volumes, while whereas it is reluctant to send its most sophisticated weapons for a series of reasons (high cost, need for operation by highly trained and specialized personnel which may also be lost in the war, fear that they will end up captured by the Russians, fear that prove to be less effective than advertised).

In terms of human resources (soldiers), which are much more difficult to replace (especially those better trained), the Russians were parsimonious from the start, deliberately withdrawing their troops whenever the risks for them were high (in Kiev, at the beginning of the war, and in Kharkov and Kherson, more recently), movements that were “sold” by Ukraine as “military victories” (hegemonic narrative).

The Ukrainians, on the other hand, opted for a “territorialist” strategy for war (instead of the “industrial” strategy of the Russians), and so they try never to cede territory, even at a high cost in human losses. Likewise, when given the opportunity to regain territory, they do so regardless of the cost in lives they have to incur. The result is that Ukrainian contingents are depleted and are being replaced (as far as possible) by elderly personnel with little military training.

NATO has also done its part, sending contingents disguised as “volunteers” (mostly regular troops converted into mercenaries), which do not have the protection of international war laws, and so the Russians do not do anything. matter of capturing to take prisoners.

Finally, the Russian strategy of wearing down the Ukrainian army has been (and continues) working satisfactorily, a factor that will soon allow the Russians to embark on a general offensive to take the desired territories and to overthrow the Ukrainian government in the face of an enemy already quite exhausted. In other words, Russia will eventually defeat Ukraine militarily (if you believe that “the Russians are losing the war” it is because your mind has already been abducted by the hegemonic narrative, without you realizing it).

 

not knowing the timing from war

Those better informed know that former German and French rulers, respectively Angela Merkel and François Hollande, more or less purposefully “let the tongue out” and handed over that the Minsk agreements (called “protocols”) for a cease-and-desist -fire between Ukraine and the then breakaway republics of Donbass were actually nothing more than ruses to give Ukraine time to arm itself to the point of being able to militarily confront Russia.

This the Russians have always known, and it was convenient for them to turn a blind eye all these years, because they also gained time to prepare for their war – not this war against Ukraine, but a war against NATO and the United States ( including nuclear, if applicable).

The Russians are fully aware that they have already been (for decades) waging an indirect war (informational/mediatic, economic, and even military “by third parties” – proxy wars) against NATO and the United States, and thus for them Ukraine is a stage, not a culmination, in this war. Knowing the high risks involved in an all-out war against the West, the Russians would have preferred to have more time to be able to prepare even better, but the imminence of an attack by Ukraine on the then breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, at the end of February 2022 forced Russia to strike first, thwarting Ukrainian invasion plans. Nevertheless, Russia's preparations for the final war against the West are proceeding apace (this is evident throughout the video above mentioned).

 

Ignore the possible outcomes of the war

As explained, this is an explicit war (between Russia and Ukraine) within another implicit war (between the United States and Russia), and therefore the search for “peace” for the war in Ukraine should not be considered separately from the larger war. that encompasses it.

The war between Russia and Ukraine would only have room for peace negotiations if the belligerents were losing more than they gained over time. But for the moment the Americans are comfortable with the burdens borne by the Russians, while the Russians are continuing their current plan of depleting Ukrainian forces to the point where they can go on the offensive without further loss. So on neither side would there be a disposition for peace today.

The fundamental war between the United States and Russia, which is existential for both as we have explained, only admits one of three outcomes: the collapse of Russia (and, subsequently, of China, which would automatically become the next target), the collapse of the United States or war. nuclear – and nothing guarantees that one of the first two will not also lead to the third.

 

Not trying to foresee the consequences of war

Whatever the outcome, the consequences, for the entire world, will be brutal.

A military defeat by Russia in Ukraine would lead to a weakening of the Putin government and sooner or later to its downfall, at which point the West would directly or indirectly appropriate Russia and dismember it, then proceed to do the same to Russia. China.

A military defeat by the United States in Ukraine (this is what a defeat by Ukraine would mean) would successively accelerate the emancipation processes of countries that still gravitate in the American orbit for fear of Washington's military power; the abandonment of the dollar as a reference currency for world trade; and the fatigue of the conditions for refinancing the American public deficit, which would lead to an unprecedented economic crisis in the United States and the end of institutions in that country as we know them – if not the end of the country itself.

We reiterate the consideration made regarding the fact that the Lula government, in addition to weighing the risks of taking on an undertaking (that of seeking to mediate a solution to the war in Ukraine) with very low chances of success, seeks to endow the government, whether in the GSI (its original location) or in another advisory body, from an intelligence area dedicated to monitoring geopolitics and global economic transformations, in order to keep itself minimally informed about the bumps and ruptures that will inevitably come.

May God enlighten President Lula and Brazil in this court that will be difficult and painful for the world and for Humanity.

*Ruben Bauer Naveira is a political activist. Book author A new utopia for Brazil: three guides to get out of chaos [available in http://www.brasilutopia.com.br].

 


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